|Date||Match Up||Rating||Score||Result||Profit||Lead Time||Analysis|
|11-01-16||Warriors -4.5 v. Blazers||Top||127-104||Win||100||20 h 42 m||Show|
The set-up: The Warriors are a in a position that the only way the 2016-17 season will be considered anything other than an abject failure, would be for them to win the NBA title. That’s why the team's 129-100 season-opening home loss to the Spurs was a seismic event. Golden State has rebounded with consecutive wins but neither of those have been impressive, so the Warriors visit Portland 2-1 but 0-3 ATS. The Blazers lost four of five starters from the previous year’s team but went 44-38 last season and then upset the injured Clippers in the first round, before falling to the Warriors in five games. Portland’s opened this season 2-1 SU & ATS. Golden State: Warriors can hardly point to Kevin Durant as a reason for the team’s early struggles, as he’s averaging 31.3 PPG (on 56.6% shooting) and adding 10.3 RPG. Curry’s been fine at 25.7 PPG but Thompson’s off to a slow start, making only 14.3% on threes (he’s averaging 17.7 per). The final member of the team's “Core Four” is Green and what team wouldn’t want a guy averaging 10.3-12.0-7.3? However, Golden State has to improve its defense, as the Warriors rank 30th, allowing 114.3 PPG. In case one doesn’t know, the NBA consists of 30 teams! Portland: The Blazers own a terrific backcourt duo in Lillard (35.0-8.0-5.3) and McCollum (21.3) and enter this game averaging 111.3 PPG (2nd) on 47.7% shooting (also 2nd-best). Lillard is off to a sizzling start to this season, shooting 54.9 percent from the floor, 44.4% from three-point range and 90.5% from the free-throw line. Portland won at Denver 115-113 in OT on Saturday night, rallying from an eight-point deficit in the final 1:15 of regulation. The pick: Portland will take the floor with some extra motivation after losing to the Warriors in the Western Conference semifinals last spring in five games but Golden State will also remember that one of its nine regular-season losses last year came in Portland’s 137-105 home triumph on Feb. 19, with Lillard scoring 51 points. Expect Golden State to make it three straight victories and for them to earn the team's first ATS win with a comfortable cover. Golden State is an 8* play.
|10-30-16||Bucks +7.5 v. Pistons||Top||83-98||Loss||-110||11 h 30 m||Show|
The set-up: The Detroit Pistons rebounded from a disappointing season opener (lost 109-91 at Toronto on Wednesday) with a dominant 108-82 victory at home over the Magic on Friday night. The Bucks also enter this contest at 1-1, losing their opener 107-96 at home to the Hornets (Wednesday), before John Henson’s tip-in at the buzzer gave them a 110-108 victory over the Brooklyn Nets last night, again in Milwaukee. Milwaukee: The Bucks take to the road for the first time on Sunday, visiting a Detroit team which took three out of four meetings with the Bucks last season. Milwaukee shot just 42.4 percent from the floor in its opener (including only 3-of-16 behind the 3-point arc) but improved to 46.6 percent overall, including 8-of-22 on threes, against Brooklyn. Last year’s leading scorer, Khris Middleton (18.2 PPG), is still several months away from returning from a ruptured hamstring but the Bucks received a big boost last night from guard Rashad Vaughn, who scored a career-high 22 points off the bench. Henson had the game-wining tip-in (only seven points) but added 12 rebounds to go along with the late-game heroics. Jabari Parker is 9-for-20 from the from and averaging a modest 13.5 PPG but Giannis Antetokounmpo is off to a strong start for Milwaukee, averaging 26 points and 10 rebounds in the team’s first two games. Detroit: The Pistons are also without their leading scorer from last year, as guard Reggie Jackson (18.8 PPG), who is recovering from a knee injury. Tobias Harris has made 16-of-29 from the floor, averaging 20.0 PPG and 4.5 RPG. He’s part of an excellent front line which also includes Marcus Morris (17.0 & 8.5) and center Andre Drummond (14.0 & 13.0).The Pistons made the playoffs last year for the first time since the 2008-09 season. The pick: On balance, center Greg Monroe has been a disappointment for the Bucks but he should highly motivated here, against his former team and matched up against Drummond with something to prove. The Pistons were a good home team last year but that just means Detroit will be somewhat overpriced at home, this season. Take the points and make Milwaukee a 10* play.
|10-28-16||Lakers +8.5 v. Jazz||Top||89-96||Win||100||12 h 8 m||Show|
The set-up: Utah opened the season with starting forwards Gordon Hayward and Derrick Favors sidelined with injuries. Both players were missed, although new addition Joe Johnson (starting in place of Hayward) finished with a team-high 29 points on 12-of-16 shooting. However, the Jazz went ice cold over the final 3 1/2 minutes of a 113-104 loss at Portland on Tuesday to the Blazers. The Lakers won Luke Walton’s head coaching debut Wednesday night, 120-114 over the Rockets. LA clamped down defensively in the fourth quarter of the opener, outscoring the Rockets 30-18 to record the comeback victory. Shooting guard Jordan Clarkson scored 25 points off the bench while PG D'Angelo Russell scored 20 points and power forward Julius Randle an excellent all-around game with 18 points (on 9-of-11 shooting), seven rebounds and six assists. LA Lakers: Winning in coach Luke Walton's debut was no small deal for a team that tasted victory so infrequently a year ago, going 17-65.The Lakers rallied in the fourth quarter to beat a quality opponent which is a much-welcomed change of pace from the the 2015-16 season. "It wasn't pretty, but we got the job done," said LA’s top scorer Clarkson after the game. "It was the first one. I feel like as the season progresses we'll do a better job of coming together and making the most of each possession." Utah: The Jazz finished ninth in the West last season and some shrewd moves during the summer brought improved depth to the Utah Jazz, positioning the team to possibly be a rising star in the NBA's Western Conference. PG George Hill, swingman Joe Johnson and all-purpose forward Boris Diaw were added to a young nucleus that includes front-liners Gordon Hayward (19.7-5.0-3.7), Derrick Favors (16.4-8.1) and Rudy Gobert (9.1-11.0). However, Hayward is out through at least mid-November after fracturing his left finger in the preseason and Favors missed the opener against Portland on Tuesday because of lingering knee and IT band issues. He practiced with the team on Thursday but remains questionable. The pick: Utah won the season series 3-1 a year ago, with the Lakers' lone victory coming on April 13 in Kobe's final game of his NBA career when he scored 60 points to lead his team to a 101-96 victory. Utah hasn't lost at home to the Lakers since falling 100-97 on February 25, 2015 but take note, Walton’s young team played with a degree of energy and enthusiasm not seen from the Lakers in quite awhile. Take the points and make the Lakers a 10* play.
|10-27-16||Celtics v. Bulls +1||Top||99-105||Win||100||10 h 12 m||Show|
The set-up: The Chicago Bulls will debut their retooled roster against the Boston Celtics on Thursday at United Center, as guards Dwayne Wade and Rajon Rondo join Jimmy Butler. Wade and Rondo are both aging but feel they can help Butler bring the Bulls back to the playoffs in the Eastern Conference and hopefully achieve even loftier goals. Meanwhile, the Celtics opened their season Wednesday night with a 122-117 win over the Brooklyn Nets, as Isaiah Thomas led with 25 points and nine assists with Jae Crowder adding 21 points. Boston: The Celtics are coming off back-to-back playoff appearances and over the summer added four-time NBA All-Star Al Horford, who signed a four-year free agent contract worth $113 million. Horford's veteran experience up front is expected to mesh nicely with Boston's young core group and he contributed 11 points, five rebounds, six assists and four blocked shots in Wednesday’s win. Boston saw four of five starters reach double digits last night, got 40 points from its bench and by game’s end, the Celtics had shot 53.9 percent from the floor. Chicago: The Bulls' offseason housecleaning saw the departures of Derrick Rose, Pau Gasol and Joakim Noah but the arrivals of not just Wade and Rondo but also center Robin Lopez, who received a two-year, $47 million deal. Power forward Taj Gibson will start with the previously mentioned other four, after beating out Nikola Mirotic. Chicago owns a very deep perimeter group featuring Michael Carter-Williams, rookie Denzel Valentine, Jerian Grant, Isaiah Canaan. Then there is German rookie forward Paul Zipser and Mirotic up front. The pick: The Celtics actually led by 21 points with 5 1/2 minutes left last night but the Nets had two chances to tie in the late going, before falling short by five points. The Celtics will again play without PF/C Kelly Olynyk (shoulder) plus PG Marcus Smart (ankle). Optimism is high for Boston again this season but the same applies to Chicago, as well. Let me remind all that the Celtics were just 20-21 SU on the road last season and that down the stretch, failed to cove nine of their last 11 road contests. Make Chicago a 10* play.
|10-26-16||Kings v. Suns -2.5||Top||113-94||Loss||-105||21 h 49 m||Show|
complete analysis by 12 pm et
|10-26-16||Wolves +2 v. Grizzlies||Top||98-102||Loss||-105||19 h 36 m||Show|
The set-up: The Memphis Grizzlies snuck into the postseason last year at 42-40 (No. 7 seed) but were quickly swept out of the playoffs 4-0 by the Spurs. While the Grizzlies look for a repeat playoff appearance, the Minnesota Timberwolves haven’t been to the postseason since the 2003-04 season and last had a winning year in 2004-05. The T-wolves won just 29 games last year, the 10th time in the last 11 seasons in which the T-wolves have failed to reach even 35 victories in a single season. Minnesota: The Timberwolves enter the season with a new head coach and some high(er) expectations. Tom Thibodeau, former Chicago Bulls coach, takes over after the Timberwolves let interim coach Sam Mitchell go following last year's 29-win season. He begins with the last two rookies of the year, in Karl-Anthony Towns (18.3 & 10.5) who won last season and Andrew Wiggins who earned the award the season before (Wiggins led the team with 20.7 PPG last season). It’s not good news that center Nikola Pekovic (Achilles, ankle) is out for the season but joining Towns and Wiggins are talented players like Ricky Rubio, Zach LaVine and Gorgui Dieng. Memphis: The Grizzlies were able to re-sign PG Mike Conley Jr. to a five-year, $153 million deal plus have added Chandler Parsons to join the inside duo of Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph up front. However, Memphis will feature a first-time head coach in David Fizdale, who has spent the last six seasons as an assistant with the Miami Heat. The Grizzlies’ season went into a tailspin when Gasol went down with a foot injury and Fizdale is hoping to get more offense out of a traditionally defense-first team. "When you know that the offense isn't just predicated on one guy and that every movement you make gives you a chance to be a part of the action, to make you a weapon, it's empowering," Fizdale told Sports Illustrated. The pick: There are many who think all Minnesota needs to turn itself into a playoff-caliber team is the right head coach. If so, the T-wolves have their man in Thibodeau, who never had a losing season in five years as the Bulls' coach and was ousted after going 50-32 two years ago. Minnesota went 13-7 ATS in its final 20 regular season road contests and Memphis was just 14-12 ATS as a home favorite last year. Make Minnesota a 10* play.
|10-25-16||Jazz v. Blazers -5.5||Top||104-113||Win||100||19 h 17 m||Show|
The set-up: The Jazz were 40-42 last season, falling one victory short of a Western Conference postseason spot. Meanwhile, the Blazers, despite losing four of five starters from the previous year’s team, went 44-38. Portland then fell behind the LA Clippers 2-0 in its opening round series, only to rebound and win four games in a row over an LA devastated by injures to first Blake Griffin and then Chris Paul. Portland’s season ended when it was eliminated by the Warriors in five games. The team’s open the 2016-17 season tonight in Portland at the Moda Center (I miss the Rose Garden). Utah: After finishing ninth in the West last season, the Jazz made three veteran offseason acquisitions, PG George Hill, swingman Joe Johnson and all-purpose forward Boris Diaw, to a young nucleus that includes front-liners Gordon Hayward (19.7-5.0-3.7), Derrick Favors (16.4-8.1) and Rudy Gobert (9.1-11.0). However, the team’s best player (Hayward), will miss the game with a broken left ring finger plus Favors and reserve guard Alec Burks will likely miss the game with knee issues. That means Diaw and Johnson will likely team with Gobert on the front line in a Utah starting lineup that will include Hill and Hood (14.5 PPG) in the backcourt. Portland: Damian Lillard had his best season in 2015-16, joining James, Curry and Westbrook as the only players to place among the league's top 10 in scoring (25.1, sixth) and assists (6.8, eighth) during the regular season. "I want to get to the Western Conference finals and give ourselves a chance to get to the (NBA) Finals," said Lillard, who is joined in the backcourt by C.J. McCollum (20.8 PPG & 4.2 APG). That duo led Portland to revamp quickly last season after losing mainstay LaMarcus Aldridge as a free agent. Al-Farouq Aminu (10.2 & 6.1) and Maurice Harkless (6.4 & 3.6) will open the season as the starting forwards with Mason Plumlee (9.1 & 7.7) back as the center. The pick: The Jazz are missing too many key ‘pieces’ in the opener to deal with Lillard and McCollum, who combined for 426 three-pointers last season (Lillard ranked fourth in the NBA with 229). Offseason additions such as swingman Evan Turner and center Festus Ezeli were brought in to fortify a bench that includes swingman Allen Crabbe (10.3) and forward/center Meyers Leonard (8.4 & 5.1). The Blazers were 3-1 against the Jazz last season, losing only in a game Lillard say out. Portland has won eight of the past 11 meetings with Utah and let’s make that nine of 12 with a cover in tonight’s opener. Portland is an 8* play.
|06-19-16||Cavs +4.5 v. Warriors||Top||93-89||Win||100||53 h 13 m||Show|
The Cavs will try to be the first team ever to come back from a 3-1 series deficit in the NBA Finals, but the bookmakers still say they are an underdog. They've owned the Warriors in the last two games, and they appear to come into Game 7 as the team with destiny on it's side. My money is on the Cavs plus the points.
Selection: This is a play on the Cleveland Cavaliers 1st Half (10*)
|06-16-16||Warriors v. Cavs -2||Top||101-115||Win||100||33 h 25 m||Show|
The Golden State Warriors failed to close out the Cavs in Game 5 at Oracle Arena, and now they have to go back to Cleveland and try to win on the road. The Cavs have been dominant at home throughout the playoffs, and they come into Game 6 with all the momentum after a commanding victory in Oakland. My money is on Cleveland to win the 1st Half.
|06-13-16||Cavs +7 v. Warriors||Top||112-97||Win||100||45 h 56 m||Show|
The Warriors will try to clinch their second straight championship in Game 5 at Oracle Arena on Monday, but they'll have to do it without Draymond Green. If the Cavs hope to avoid elimination, a fast start is an absolute must. The Warriors are not a great first half team at the best of times, and without one of their best players, it could take some time to make the necessary adjustments.
|06-10-16||Warriors v. Cavs -1.5||Top||108-97||Loss||-110||20 h 47 m||Show|
The Cavs showed almost no signs of life in back-to-back blowout losses at Golden State, but the NBA Finals got interesting when Cleveland came back to win 120-90 in Game 3. All the momentum is now with the Cavs heading into Game 4, and I expect the Warriors to struggle once again at Quicken Loans Arena.
Selection: This is a play on the Cleveland Cavaliers 1st Half (10*)
|06-08-16||Warriors v. Cavs||Top||90-120||Win||100||45 h 34 m||Show|
The Golden State Warriors have a firm grip of the NBA Championship 2016 after a pair of blowout wins home at Oracle Arena. I think they'll be in for a much tougher game as the series shifts to Quicken Loans Arena though, and the Cavs need to take an early lead and never look back. Here are my keys to the game: 1. Situational - The Cavs need to make a statement and come roaring out of the gates after getting humiliated in Oakland. The fans will demand it, Tyronn Lue will demand it and and the King will demand it. "It's a do or die game for us," said Lebron James at Tuesday's press conference at Quicken Loans Arena. 2. Home Cookin' - The Cavaliers can not afford to disappoint the home town crowd tonight, and they've had plenty to cheer for in Cleveland with the Cavs winning and covering the spread in six consecutive home games. "We feed off each other. We've been great at home," said Cavs forward Tristan Thompson. "We're excited." 3. X-Factor - The Warriors have lost each of their Game 3's in previous series here in the playoffs. Selection: This is a play on the Cleveland Cavaliers 1st Half (10*)
|06-05-16||Cavs v. Warriors -6.5||Top||77-110||Win||100||45 h 5 m||Show|
The Cavaliers looked totally out-classed in Game 1 of the NBA Finals in Oakland. They scored just 43 points in the first half, and went on to lose 104-89. Perhaps the biggest concern for the Cavs is that Steph Curry and Klay Thompson scored a combined 20 points, and the Warriors role players badly out-played Cleveland's starting five. After watching the Cavs shoot 38.1 percent from the field in Game 1, I don't think much will change in Game 2.
Selection: This is a play on the Golden State Warriors first half (10*)